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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1034965-Take-Up-Your-Cross---July-5--9-2022
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by Jeff
Rated: 18+ · Book · Biographical · #1399999
My primary Writing.com blog.
#1034965 added July 9, 2022 at 11:53pm
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Take Up Your Cross - July 5 & 9, 2022

"Take up Your Cross | Prompt

My favorite church activity is Bible study. For a long time I didn't read the Bible, and for a while after that I read it quite skeptically. To be honest, I still do that, but I now have a much greater appreciation for the text, thanks to years of listening to really smart sermons, and realizing that a bit of confusion and uncertainty is kind of the point. Once I accepted the fact that the Bible isn't supposed to be a step-by-step blueprint, I was able to really appreciate all the nuances it contains, including inconsistencies and pieces of it that can be vastly misinterpreted by different people.

As a piece of literature, there's nothing quite like it. How it was written, how it was compiled, the sheer among of complexity and different authors and styles and types of writing... it's a remarkable text. I love attending Bible studies where people who are much more familiar with the text than I am weigh in on their interpretation of certain passages.

I'm particularly enjoying my church's current Bible in a Year study where we're reading the entire Bible, cover to cover, between January and December. Our pastor, who has a number of advanced degrees not just in theology but also ancient languages and history and other supplemental studies that are applicable to the Bible, meets with us once a week to talk through what we've read from both a historical and pastoral context. I've really gotten a lot out of this particular bible study and I anticipate it will encourage me to continue to read more and learn more about the Bible for years to come.

"Take up Your Cross | Prompt

This struck me as a really odd question. The entire Christian religion is based on following Jesus. Almost the entirety of the New Testament is about following Jesus. Most Christians spend their life seeking to discern God's will for their lives. So Jesus decides to do a one-day encore performance on Earth and he's going to spend it with you... and the question asks what I'm going to do that day? How can it be anything other than saying to Jesus, "I'm doing whatever you're doing" because I'm not the most important person in that meet-up.

The question makes it seems like we should be debating what to do with the presence of Jesus as if he were an out-of-town relative, or a VIP visitor from work, where you're debating whether you should plan a chill day of showing him one of your favorite shows on Netflix and ordering in Thai from the pretty decent place next door, or if you should make reservations at a cool new restaurant and maybe take him out for a night on the town. *Confused*

What's being proposed in this question is nothing short of world-changing. Jesus, a figure that up until this point, modern Christians have had to read a very old book about and do their best to intuit what he would do in a given situation, is back and willing to spend time with you. The New Testament is full of stories of his disciples following him around, or those who follow in the footsteps of the disciples and try to do what he would have done if he were with them during the time periods depicted in Acts, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, etc. I just can't fathom any response other than, "I just want to go wherever you go, and do whatever you do." The whole point of the Christian faith is that we're supposed to follow Jesus' teachings... what better opportunity to do that than if he were to show up on your doorstep.

If Jesus said, "Let's go to the beach, there's something I want to do there," I'd grab my keys.

If Jesus said, "Hey, are we close to Jerusalem, because I want to check on something," I'd book us plane tickets.

If Jesus wanted to kick up his feet on my couch and said, "I have some thoughts on some things," I'd grab my laptop and start taking notes.

The whole point of the Christian faith is that it's not about us; it's about Jesus. I have no idea what he'd want to do if he showed up on my doorstep one day. All I know is that I'd be far more concerned about what he wanted to do than what I wanted to do... and whatever he wanted to do should be something I automatically say "yes" to.

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